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What do you want to do with your law degree? The Pathways to the Profession program will help you figure it out.
Pathways to the Profession at New England Law

Pathways is an online program that will help you explore various legal career paths that interest you. You will be able to personalize your law school plan, choosing courses and experiential learning opportunities that give you the skills and expertise you need to practice. So you graduate prepared for a successful and rewarding legal career path.

Each Pathway recommends courses that students should take according to their law practice goals. Although these Pathways do not create any specialties or concentrations, they are used primarily to advise law students about courses that will be beneficial for them in order to pursue law career paths after graduation.

The Pathways program was developed by Mitchell Hamline School of Law (one of our sister schools in the Consortium for Innovative Legal Education) and has been adapted for New England Law with Mitchell Hamline’s permission.

Explore Your Pathway to Law

Each legal pathway highlights courses that prepare you for a specific field. Choose any of the legal specialties below to learn more.

Compliance is the practical implementation of law within organizations, through understanding external rules imposed on an organization and developing mechanisms of internal controls to ensure adherence to these rules. Compliance work spans many substantive areas of law, including financial services, health, education, information technology, employment, immigration and even sports.

Compliance Career Path Resources

Compliance Faculty

  • Eric A. Lustig Eric A. Lustig

    Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Business Law

  • David M. Siegel David M. Siegel

    Professor of Law and Director, Center for Law and Social Responsibility

  • Gary M. Bishop Gary M. Bishop

    Professor of Law and Director of Legal Research and Writing

Compliance Path View

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  • Core Course

    Administrative Law

    3 Credit (Elective)

    This course is designed for students interested in regulatory law and those who seek additional coverage of pertinent constitutional law topics. Coverage includes the sources and nature of agency authority, agency rule making and adjudication, and judicial review of agency action. Constitutional issues addressed include the interplay of power among the three federal branches, procedural due process, and justiciability issues such as standing, ripeness, and mootness. Special emphasis is placed on the federal Administrative Procedure Act; state analogs may be studied as well. Attention also may be given to the internal functioning of typical administrative bodies and to the relationship between regulators and the regulated community.

  • Core Course

    Business Organizations

    3 Credit (Elective)

    Examines the similarities and differences among various types of business organizations (sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, and limited liability companies). Important issues studied include organization and formation requirements; roles, responsibilities, and potential liabilities of persons acting on behalf of the business organization and/or owning the business organization; the procedures and most frequent grounds for litigation involving business organizations; corporate social responsibility; and a brief introduction to the law of securities regulation and corporate control.

  • Core Course

    Nonprofit Organizations

    3 Credit (Elective)

    This course will examine nonprofit organizations and the sector in which they operate. The course will focus on the legal framework governing the operation of the nonprofit organizations, including issues of choice of form, governing bodies, and regulation of solicitations. The course also will survey the basic federal income and state property tax issues relevant to operation of the nonprofit organization. These issues include qualification for tax exemption, filing requirements, engaging in commercial activities, and the distinction between public charities and private foundations.

    This course may be offered every other year.

  • Recommended Course

    Employment Law

    2 or 3 Credit (Elective)

    This course deals with the employer/employee relationship when the employee is not represented by a labor union, but rather seeks protection under state or federal legislation. Among the topics are legal restraints on employer screening of employees, wage and hour legislation, occupational health and safety legislation, restrictions on employee discharge, employment discrimination, retirement, and other employee workplace rights and protections.

    This course may be offered every other year.

  • Recommended Course

    Health Care Law

    2 Credit (Elective)

    This course analyzes the historical developments and policies that have influenced and shaped the development of the health-care system in the United States, at both the state and federal level. Weekly reading assignments will include health-care policy articles, case law, and reports and studies on various health-care topics. Areas of coverage will include health-care financing, the regulation of health-care providers, patient access to health care, and the doctor-patient relationship and conflicts of interest.

  • Recommended Course

    Securities Regulation

    3 Credit (Elective)

    This course offers an introduction to federal securities laws, primarily covering the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as well as the rules and regulations enacted thereunder. With a focus on SEC and criminal investigation and enforcement, topics include the definition of "security," the concept of materiality, antifraud liability (such as insider trading), and the duties of industry participants in securities transactions. Although there are no prerequisites for this course, it is designed for students interested in securities litigation and not merely for the general corporate transactional practice.

  • Core Course

    Privacy and Data Protection

    2 Credit (Elective)

    This course explores the many legal issues that concern information privacy in a world of big data, including such topics as the Fair Credit Reporting Act, federal and state financial privacy laws, consumer data privacy regulation, and First Amendment limitations on privacy regulation. This course will be taught as a colloquium; after an initial introduction to legal and philosophical perspectives on information privacy, teaching will be undertaken by students in the course. Each student (or team of students) will be responsible for leading discussion on a topic related to privacy and law enforcement.

  • Core Course

    Corporate Counsel: Risk Management, Governance, and Compliance

    2 Credit (Elective)

    This course focuses on the role of counsel to business organizations. This role may be filled either by an attorney employed by the organization (in-house counsel) or through a law firm (outside counsel). Corporate counsel’s work is largely driven by the overarching principal of risk management. Accordingly, the course will focus on the interaction of risk management with legal analysis in the areas of governance and compliance. Course coverage in the area of governance will include issues involving shareholders, board of directors, and executives. Specific issues may include shareholder proposals and “say on pay” voting, as well as the roles of the Board chair, independent directors, and crucial committees (Audit, Risk, Compliance, Governance and Nominating, and Compensation). Course coverage in the area of corporate compliance will broadly cover the history and connection to the increase in scope and complexity of regulation. The coverage will turn to corporate counsel’s role in major aspects of corporate compliance: internal investigations, regulatory matters, and criminal matters. The course will also discuss the various roles played by corporate counsel in governance and compliance and various ethical dilemmas that arise frequently, such as the business organization as client, attorney-client privilege in corporate investigations, confidentiality, and work product protection. Grading will be based on projects assigned during the semester and a final project due at the end of the semester.

  • Core Course

    Employee Benefits Law

    2 Credit (Elective)

    The course will examine the regulation of pension plans and welfare benefit plans under ERISA (the major federal law governing employee benefit plans). Topics to be covered include litigation involving breach of fiduciary duties of disclosure and prudent investment, employee remedies for denial of benefits, and preemption. Other important federal laws affecting employee benefits also will be discussed.

    This course may be offered every other year.

  • Core Course

    Financial Sector Compliance

    2 Credit (Professional Skills)

    This course will examine the role of compliance within the financial sector, specifically focusing on the investment management industry. Emphasis will be given to the delicate balancing act of responding to business needs while acting as an interpreter and enforcer of rules, regulations, and industry best practice. Students will work to define the role of compliance, build a successful compliance program, and appropriately navigate the key relationships and inherent tensions existing between internal and external business partners, legal counsel, and regulatory agencies. At the end of the course, students should have a clear understanding of the scope of compliance and the role of a compliance officer in the financial sector and be able to navigate common issues inherent in the role, such as maintaining independence while being a good business partner, handling regulatory exams, and integrating regulations into the business. The course will employ a real-world, hands-on approach through a variety of small projects and discussions leading up to a final written work and presentation. Familiarity with the financial industry or previous course work such as Securities Regulation is recommended but not required. An overview of the industry, applicable regulations, and key players will be covered at the start of the course.

  • Core Course

    Alternative Dispute Resolution

    2 Credit (Professional Skills)

    Other Stage Two Options:

    Mediation OR Negotiation

    This course focuses on alternative methods of dispute resolution, including negotiation, mediation, and arbitration. In-class simulations of fact patterns are used as a means of illustrating certain resolution methods. Please check the most recent course registration information to determine if this course meets the Experiential Education/Professional Skills requirements.

  • Core Course

    Mediation

    3 Credit (Professional Skills)

    Other Stage Two Options:

    Alternative Dispute Resolution OR Negotiation

    Students are introduced to the principles of conflict resolution through the mediation process and through evolving mediation hybrids, including learning about the legal, ethical, sociological, and procedural aspects of mediation through a series of simulated exercises. Students participate directly in simulations drawn from many areas involving conflict, such as family law, trusts and estates, land use and real estate, business, sports law, construction, entertainment, and employment. During the second half of the course, the focus is on the role of lawyers in the mediation process and the skills needed to be an effective and appropriate advocate in resolving disputes for clients. Please check the most recent course registration information to determine if this course meets the Experiential Education/Professional Skills requirements.

  • Core Course

    Negotiation

    3 Credit (Professional Skills)

    Other Stage Two Options:

    Alternative Dispute Resolution OR Mediation

    Explores the theory and the art of resolving conflict through negotiation. Various styles are presented for comparison and analysis. Students are urged to evaluate their own intuitive style and to experience others. Practical experience is achieved through one-on-one and group negotiations exercises. The theory of conflict, strategic choice, ethical issues, and the negotiator's dilemma are presented in a variety of substantive contexts. Please check the most recent course registration information to determine if this course meets the Experiential Education/Professional Skills requirement.

  • Recommended Course

    Business and Intellectual Property Law Clinic

    2/3 credits Credit (Clinic)

    Placements in settings that expose students to the practice of business and/or intellectual property law are within the broad scope of the clinic. Students in this clinical component spend 10 (2-credit) or 15 (3-credit) hours per week on fieldwork. Given the broad range of possible placements, students might work in government agencies, private law firms, nonprofit organizations, the legal department of businesses, or in placements through which students may work in the area of compliance. Students will submit weekly journals, describing and reflecting on their experiences in the field, and will meet in a series of seminars with the course instructor and/or the Clinical Director to explore the relationship between the principles covered in the substantive class and the students' fieldwork. While Business Organizations is the co/prerequisite for all placements, certain Intellectual Property courses may additionally be required by the course instructor for eligibility for placements in the Intellectual Property area. This course satisfies the Experiential Education/Professional Skills Requirement.

  • Recommended Course

    Hospital Law

    2 Credit (Elective)

    The health-care industry has become perhaps the most regulated industry in the United States, resulting in a dynamic and complex area of law for legal practitioners. This course will utilize federal and state statutes, regulations and case law in addressing areas such as hospital structures, licensure and accreditation, fraud and abuse, physician credentialing, peer review, hospital governance, tax exemption, joint ventures, and antitrust issues. Students also will consider various scenarios routinely encountered by lawyers who represent hospitals.

    This course may be offered every other year.

  • Recommended Course

    Workers’ Compensation

    2 Credit (Elective)

    Examines the theory and practice of workers' compensation systems and their development through case law and statute reform, from A (assaults) to Z (zookeeper attacks).

    This course may be offered every other year.

  • Core Course

    Business Immigration Law

    Credit (Elective)

    The world of immigration in practice can be divided into family, court, and business immigration. Business immigration addresses both temporary and long-term solutions for individuals who need permission to remain in the United States where the purpose is related to an employment opportunity, one's professional accomplishments, or investment opportunities. Business Immigration will offer detailed information regarding business immigration law and practice, with a focus on current practice and procedures in the administrative law system of the federal agencies regulating immigration. During each class, students will put their knowledge into practice by working through increasingly complex problems designed to orient them around business immigration issues and problems. Additionally, students will be assigned a short research project of immigration requirements of other countries which serve as the basis of a discussion of US immigration in the context of a global market. Students should come away with a working knowledge of representing employers and employees in Business Immigration law.

  • Core Course

    Business Compliance and Human Rights

    2 Credit (Elective)

    This seminar focuses on the evolving legal framework for holding businesses to account for activities that negatively impact human rights. The course is largely structured around the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) which were approved by the UN Human Rights Council in 2011. The UNGPs have created an evolving normative framework that aims to prevent and remedy human rights abuses committed by companies and has become an important area of legal compliance work. The seminar is designed to provide students with a general overview of the general framework established by the UNGPs and will include coverage of: the international human rights legal regime; the development of international, domestic and voluntary corporate initiatives designed to bring corporations in line with human rights norms; the best practices for corporations to incorporate measures to assure respect of human rights; the potential liability of corporations for alleged violations of international human rights law; and the available judicial and nonjudicial remedies for vindicating violations of these rights. The course focuses on both the legal, practical, and political challenges that all stakeholders face in this new area of emerging international law while building the skills needed by a professional in this field.

    This course may be offered every other year.

  • Core Course

    Consumer Protection

    2 Credit (Elective)

    This overview of the law of consumer retail transactions focuses on the tools available to attorneys representing consumers (and those defending companies) when consumer disputes arise. The course will cover common law causes of action, the statutory tools regularly utilized in litigation (with an emphasis on the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act), and the regulatory regimes put in place by the Federal Reserve, Consumer Product Safety Commission, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and other administrative agencies. We also will analyze the tactics involved in consumer protection litigation by reviewing real situations and examining the choices available to both the businesses and consumer advocates in such cases. Finally, we will discuss a variety of specific substantive areas of consumer protection, such as the subprime mortgage debacle and Internet privacy.

    This course may be offered every other year.

  • Core Course

    Sports Law

    2 Credit (Elective)

    This survey of sports law investigates a wide variety of topics in the context of sports law. For example, the course considers the nature, operation, and evolution of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Both the equal protection and due process clauses of the Constitution also are studied, as applied in an athletic setting, as are the treatment and rights of women and foreign student athletes. The differing treatment by the courts of the worker's compensation--e.g., is a recruited athlete an employee of his or her university?--are analyzed. Antitrust law, as applied to both amateur and professional sports, also is reviewed. Title IX and drug testing are considered, as are the role and ethics of lawyers involved at the various levels. Representation of the athlete by both lawyer and nonlawyer agents and the role of unions and collective bargaining in professional sports are considered, as are both tort and contract law.

  • Recommended Course

    Business Practice Credit

    1 Credit (Elective)

    The Business Practice credit provides an opportunity for students to gain practical legal experience in a setting outside the law school; it is an externship credit for students interested in business law. Each student works in an appropriate placement that has been approved by a faculty member who teaches a related subject and the Clinical Director. Students spend an average of five hours per week, totaling a minimum of 65 hours per semester, assisting attorneys in handling matters involving various areas of business law. Because of the differing types of work in these placements, the number of hours of field work may vary somewhat from week to week, as determined by the student, the faculty member, and the field supervisor. Students will submit weekly journals, describing and reflecting on their experiences in the field, and will meet periodically with their faculty advisor to explore the relationship between the principles covered in the substantive class and the students' fieldwork.

    Prerequisites/corequisites are various business law courses, based on the subject matter of the fieldwork.

Pathways Coordinator

Professor Davalene Cooper is coauthor of Massachusetts Proof of Cases and formerly served as an attorney at the National Consumer Law Center and the Appalachian Research and Defense Fund of Kentucky.

Featured Faculty

Davalene Cooper
Davalene Cooper

Professor of Law

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